As of next week, two of the most popular iDevice news sources will no longer be giving free access. The New York Times and The Daily will start erecting their long expected pay walls. While that’s a bit disappointing, there are still tons of great, reliable and free resources out there.
The Pay Wall
It was waiting in my inbox this morning; an email from The New York Times telling me the news I reported yesterday. The venerable publication was going to begin charging for its content using a model, which has been described as “dumb, da, dumb, dumb.”
Still, the language The Times’ used to get their message across impressed me.
In their email, they stated:
It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform.
Murdoch couldn’t have said it better himself.
He said of The Daily at its launch:
Our challenge is to take the best of traditional journalism…and combine it with the best of contemporary technology.
Does this mean “high-quality” and “traditional journalism” requires a monthly subscription? Absolutely not.
In fact, “high-quality” journalism is typically in the eye of the beholder. And “traditional journalism?” The term itself pretty much defines the news many are choosing to go without.
Let me first admit, I love The Daily. In fact, I enjoy it so much, I’ve already started my subscription.
The Daily, in my opinion, is the best place on the iPad to get news in such a way that feels like you are immersed in it.
Its ongoing stories on the tragedy in Japan and problems in Libya, for example, are first-rate, combining text, photos, and video. To me, someone who rarely watches news on TV anymore, paying $.99 per week to continue getting my news in this format is a small price to pay.
As for The Times, I’ve always enjoyed their Culture section. Because of this, I will probably check out their paid selection and see if it’s worth it.
However for most iOS users, buying the news probably isn’t necessary.
For absolutely nothing, Zite is the best iPad news app on the market today. Because it tailors its news based on your interests and reading patterns, Zite gives you exactly what you want in a format that is crisp and inviting.
In addition, you can’t go wrong with the Pulse News Reader, which jumped onto the scene soon after the iPad’s debut in 2010. While some would argue it’s only a RSS newsreader, Pulse continues to add features and news sources. Just last month, for example, it started to add APIs from Reddit and Digg, among others.
Finally, there is Flipboard, a wonderful app that combines news from various sources with an incredible interface.
While the folks at The New York Times and The Daily would definitely argue differently, “high-quality” news is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
And having a choice is always nice.
What do you think? Leave your comments below.